Leading up to the 2007 Mr. Olympia September 28-29 in Las Vegas, FLEX will be bringing you interviews with the combatants. Today, 2007 Ironman Pro and Sacramento Pro champion Toney Freeman and 2007 Montreal Pro runner-up Quincy Taylor.

TONEY FREEMAN: “I looked at what I brought to the spring shows, and I was missing a little size; I’d focused on conditioning, and I accomplished that. At 6’2” and 275, I placed good with conditioning, but to win, I had to complement that with size. So this year, I took a different approach: I decided I needed to get in shape with more carbs. I also changed my training to add size without injuring myself. I began my Olympia diet weighing 290, and I haven’t been below that since. Right now, I’m 295, with body fat in the high 3 percent range. When I turned pro, I said I wanted to be competing at 295 with a 31” waist, and that’s what I’ll be bringing to the Olympia stage. Ronnie has always had size, proportions and conditioning, so when you add the numbers, he’s had the most of everything. Cutler, who took advantage of Ronnie not being at his best, is also improving himself, but I don’t see anyone coming in with a whole lot more than they had last year. Victor is hoping to repeat his conditioning performance with a couple more pounds. Jay will be close to the same weight with hopefully better conditioning. Ronnie can’t come in big like he was, or his physique will be distorted; and he can’t come in smaller, because he’ll then be too small. Everybody will have to be close to what they’ve always brought, so I don’t see anybody bringing in anything new, other than myself. I was 275 at the Arnold Classic; I’ll be 295 here — for real — and size carries a long way in the Olympia. I was 286 at last year’s Olympia, but I was conditioned. This year, I’ll have the same or better conditioning; plus, I’ve been working on my glutes, I’ve brought up my arms, I brought my chest up a lot, my legs are even more improved — they’re the biggest they’ve ever been — so I think people are going to be really shocked at my unveiling. I measured my waist the other day at 32½. I also measured my quads, and they’re 32. I don’t think that’s ever been done. I can’t wait. I have the media behind me, and I’m ready to go.”

QUINCY TAYLOR: “If I could have won the Montreal Pro Show as I expected over the weekend, my spirits would be a little higher, but this is bodybuilding, and you never know. I just hope I’m in the top five — I’d be happy with the top seven or eight. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m going to come in the best I can. My body’s been feeling really good, nothing hurts, and on top of that, I’m getting bigger, so you’ll be seeing more as I go along. I’ve been working on my weak points: the chest, the quad sweep. I’ve had to find the right exercises, and everything’s falling together. When you get up against these guys, it comes down to just that one thing that throws your whole physique off. It could be glutes, it could be calves. You have to have everything, and I’ve now structured my physique so that there’s really nothing missing.

“Johnnie Jackson is a great bodybuilder, but he’s missing some fundamental body parts, like legs. But the thing about Johnnie is that he has to stop drinking that de-caf coffee. That de-caf coffee is f—–g him up.

“I’ve beaten Darrem, but I know he’ll come in with that beautiful package. There’s nothing missing on the guy. The only thing is that he needs to be 30 pounds heavier, and he’d make me look like a toothpick.

“Frankly, I’m a top-five guy, because many of those guys are shallow in the glutes and shallow in the hamstrings. They’re being ranked high, but they’re really not that good. It’s a name game, but it’s bodybuilding, dude, so I can’t complain about it. I’m still disappointed; I wanted to go to the Olympia, but more than that, I want to win. On the other hand, I now get to stand up there against Jay and Ronnie, and that’s something I’d love to do. My physique is so different from both of theirs that it would come down to apples and oranges. Ronnie’s back is incredible, but in a lot of the other areas, I’m just as big as he is, especially when I hit my most-muscular. My most-muscular, my lower back and my traps are the best there is, and my hamstrings are second to none. My goal is to be compared with those two guys, because there are certain poses where no one can beat me. That most-muscular crab pose of mine is scary. It scares my girlfriend. It even scares me. I had no idea my traps were that big. It’s beautiful, man.”